The Basket of Tolerance – The Invisible Man – Adi Da Samraj


Sat Chit Ananda (The Invisible Man, 1975)
Adi Da Samraj (Bubba Free John)

The Invisible Man

Master: Recently I have said a few things about the distinction between the Guru function, or Siddhi, the difference between that and the Teaching. They are two very different functions. The Teaching is an instrument of the Guru function. It is particularly an instrument directed toward human beings. Several months ago, I talked to you about the fullness of the gnosis of understanding, of the Man of Understanding, that it includes the Heart and the Light and the Life. It is an inclusive realization whereas the traditions tend to be exclusive. They tend to realize the Life principle or the principle of the Light or perhaps the principle of the Heart or the Self. In other words, the forms of gnosis realized within the traditions tend to be limited in the form of gnosis which characterizes the Man of Understanding where the Way of Understanding is complete, full.


“Gautama, called the “Buddha” (the “Enlightened One”), is a Master associated with the outer fire or yellow light, and the conquest of desire, or the navel, which represents the vital gross physical, lower emotional, and ordinary mental states of the bodily being. Krishna, called an “Avatar” (or total Incarnation) of Vishnu, is a Master associated with the inner blue light and the attainment of the “sky” of the head or brain, which includes the astral, higher mental, and supermental states. Jesus of Nazareth, called the “Messiah” and the “Christ” (or the “Anointed Messenger of God”), is a Master associated with the Holy Spirit Mystery of white light, and the sacrifice, from the heart, of self and all one possesses into the central vision of white brightness”.

The “Spirit” and the “Single Eye” in the Teaching of Jesus and the Ancients



On the other hand, the forms of gnosis are not themselves Truth, and the Teaching is not to be equated with Truth or Siddhi or with the very Reality. They are ways of serving it and they are expressions of it and they are kinds of realization of gnosis, possible gnosis in Truth. The Siddhi or very Presence of the Guru is of another kind and is essentially unspeakable. It is unspoken. It is not instructive. It doesn’t appear in the form of energies or influences itself. The Guru in person may communicate through forms of energy, through forms of the Teaching, through kinds of action, influences and so forth, but that is an expression of his Teaching work, the Siddhi. It is the very Reality. It is of a prior and Radical nature. And therefore, when cosmological descriptions are made of this great process, it must be understood that all of that is an expression of the Teaching in the form of gnosis or comprehension, a way of seeing. But in fact, that Siddhi, that Realization, that very Reality has nothing whatever to do with cosmos, with appearance, with the world, with anything whatsoever. It is not an absolute something either.

When it comes down to the matter of, if we’re going to use any words at all, otherwise I’m not going to say anything, so maybe I’ll use words. I’m supposed to be able to use a word like Truth. When it comes down to Truth itself, or that Siddhi itself, it cannot be spoken. It cannot be described. That’s why the Guru function itself is not a matter of description, teaching, energies, words and doesn’t point to something concrete, even something concrete that is absolute or infinite.

Relative to the reality itself, nothing at all can be said. On the other hand, that realization may be served and it is served by the guru appearing in the world, so-called, and teaching — doing Teaching work, saying things that are the Teaching, establishing a community, establishing a process within that community, a discipline, and so forth. All that is a way of serving. Its a way of serving something that is not itself gnosis. Something that may not be spoken.

Now, the realization of the Heart is a form of gnosis. The realization of the God-Light is a form of gnosis. The realization of the Life Principle, the fullness descending and ascending into Light is a form of gnosis. And they are all lesser forms of gnosis that are possible also.

Knowing how to tie your shoelaces is a form of gnosis. (Laughter) There are all kinds of lesser gnosis and there are these three Great Principle Forms of Gnosis or Knowledge. However, perfect Knowledge, so,called, knowledge of Truth or Radical Understanding is not the form of gnosis and does not itself have anything to do with any of the great principles of this great process that we’re always describing.

There is no ultimate reality that has the status of a thing or of a non-thing. Nothing may be said about that except to say that much, that all statements about it are misleading and that it is not itself a form of knowledge. It doesn’t have the subject and the object within it. It is not comprehended in any sense. The forms of gnosis that we talk about are the first expressions, so,called, of the ultimate or perfect and prior condition, so that the first dimension that appears in the midst of this indescribable, this non,describable)

The first appearance is Principle and the forms of knowledge or gnosis that are served within the various traditions and inclusively served within the Way of Understanding are the knowing or realization of Principle — that which is utterly dependent on this indescribable absolute and something that is not Truth within itself, but nevertheless all of these Principles that are the subject of gnosis are the root and ultimate source, the first appearance within this absolute. And, it makes some sense to describe these principles or Principle itself if we consider all of these great principles taken together as something like a unity; and all of the great traditions are talking about these principles or the gnosis or knowledge of these principles.

The traditions generally, taking any one by itself, generally deal with the realization of one of these great principles. Some traditions, of course, don’t come anywhere close to talking about these great principles. They’re talking about much lesser things in the scheme of manifestation. They’re talking about appearances on a relatively low level. But perfect gnosis, insofar as its described in any tradition, is gnosis relative to one, usually one of the principles that are original.

The Way of Understanding is described relative to perfect gnosis of all of these principles and I’ve described these principles to you. Fundamentally, there are three and all the kinds of knowledge, as well as all the kinds of structures of experience are reflections stepped down of these principles. In the Indian Hindu principle they are called “satchitananda” and these are generally translated in any one of a number of ways.

I’ve elaborated them as the Heart or the Self or Existence, fundamentally—the Light or the Mind, the Creative Source and Life, or Motion, the Fullness. that which becomes the individual separate self,sense 6r ego is a reflection stepped down of the first principle of the self or existence, perfect. That which is mind or the differentiating power, realized by experience is the reflection stepped down of the Light, or Mind in its ultimate sense. In that which is experienced as desire, motion, the life energy itself descending and ascending is the reflection stepped down of the principle of Life, or Motion.

So the whole scheme of appearance is a process of reflections and turn, abouts and from the dimension of principle down through dimensions of mind, energy, subtlety and light solidity, grossness — the process of going down and coming back, all of which are dependent upon this trinity of principles or this single unity of the Great Principle from which all things depend, all things which are manifest depend.

So the jnani when he’s talking about the Self, the Heart, is talking about realization of one of these principles, the principle of existence -, Sat. And the saint, when he’s talking about God or the Light is talking about gnosis or intuitive knowledge of the Light which is the second Principle. And that second Principle is dependent on the first which is “sat”. The second principle is “chit” or Light or Mind. Consciousness its sometimes translated as consciousness but that is not a proper translation, it seems to me, because I think the word Consciousness is a better attribute if we’re going to use any whatsoever which is attributeless — ultimate. Its better to reserve that word for that so I’d rather call “chit” Light or Mind. And the yogis and people who exploit the life energy toward the experience of absorption or use it to do magic in various forms are talking about gnosis of the Principle of Life or Motion.

The Way of Understanding as I’ve described it is not a matter of gnosis in any traditional sense. In other words, its not a matter of gnosis of any one of these principles separately. By the way, I neglected to mention that the Life Principle is dependent on the founding principle, or very existence, just as the Light is. 

The Way of Understanding involves inclusive gnosis, prior gnosis of all of these principles, of the whole scheme of what we consider to be the world. Prior gnosis in that sense is the source of the Way of Understanding as it appears as a Teaching. And, so all of the forms of the Teaching, both verbal and active are ways of dealing descriptively and experientially with the possibility of gnosis, but at the same time that is being done, the Guru is present in the Guru function or Siddhi. of that unspeakable Prior Condition of all Conditions. And even these principles are kinds of conditions so at the same time the Guru is Teaching, he is performing his function or he is present as that function, as that Siddhi, so wherever there is knowledge accumulated or gnosis realized, even though its becoming more and more inclusive, more and more like true gnosis, at the same time that process is going on in the sadhana of individuals, it is being undermined by the Guru function.

So even gnosis is not Truth and the radical communication of the Way of Understanding includes even that level of criticism, so the realization of the self is not Truth, the way of the jnani is not Truth and the realization of the light is not Truth, the way of the saints is therefore not Truth. The realization of life or the fullness descending and ascending, all the kinds of processes that involves is not Truth. So the way of the yogis is not Truth. Nor is the knowledge of all of that Truth. None of that is Truth. It is knowledge only. True to the facts, perhaps, but not Truth. And, the guru really yields nothing that will serve that gnosis beyond gnosis, that knowledge which is not even knowledge. He yields nothing to serve that apart from his mere presence. And that mere presence is the fundamental instrument of the guru in the world. Even the teaching and likewise the community, even the teaching is a secondary vehicle limited because for one thing, it can only serve one type of character, a human character who can receive these symbols and make some sort of sense out of them. 

The guru can also teach through action and in that sense may then do teaching work with other kinds of creatures, with the sky, with doors and dogs and cats. But even that is tending at best toward gnosis, or transformation of knowledge. The fundamental instrument is the guru function itself which is not speakable, not describable, not itself a principle or an absolute object or state or condition or thing any more than the ultimate reality which is identical to that guru function.

So, it is paradoxical to talk about the structure of the cosmos as this great process. It has certain value, because individuals don’t assume the universe or manifest worlds to be anything other than what it appears to be. They don’t Know it. They don’t enjoy gnosis of this process and therefore know it as that great process as I have described. Rather, they enjoy scientific knowledge, observer’ knowledge, experiential knowledge.

So gnosis in itself is not the Truth and therefore any way that points to some form of gnosis is not Truth, not tending toward Truth. Even the way of knowledge in what we must consider its absolute form, or most perfect form, is not Truth realization. It is simply knowledge of the principles of the cosmos, the principles of the cosmos understood as a great process in which the principle is not appearances, materiality, mortality, discrete or separate individuals or processes and so forth, but a great process that is itself consciousness and that which everything is a modification of that consciousness.

Gnosis then is knowledge of the ultimate principles within such a great process. But the guru is present, speechless, as mere presence in order to communicate what is not gnosis, what is prior even to knowledge and therefore an aspect of the teaching of the way of understanding is a criticism of the various forms of gnosis, clearly a criticism of the lesser forms of gnosis or mere experience, but also a criticism of the perfect forms or traditionally we would consider to be the great forms of gnosis, those enjoyed by the jnani, the saint or the great yogi or mystic.

So, whenever we’re in the midst of describing things, know that we’re dealing with the Teaching and we’re talking about knowledge, gnosis, not about Truth, not about the Guru, not about the unspeakable reality. So to talk about something like the self as against all the things that may arise, or to talk about the light as opposed to. the gross world, to talk about life descending and ascending as opposed to just walking down the street in the body — none of that is to be talking about Truth. It is to be talking about the principles of the Great Process.

It is a gnosis then, or Knowledge is within the scheme of things superior, it is of a superior variety, superior to the usual man s knowledge because the usual man’s knowledge is not knowledge of principle, nor is it knowledge of the world as the great process. Rather, it is knowledge of things, processes in themselves. It is conventional knowledge, experiential only. The Guru serves individuals through his teaching in order to establish or to serve along with all the other things that he’s doing, including that fundamental force that is Satsang itself.

To serve a comprehension in principle of the nature of all things and to remove prejudices toward limited forms of knowledge and to establish a right comprehension of the nature of things and to correct false knowledge, misleading knowledge, exclusive knowledge and also, he says all kinds of things in order to account for the content and the principles of cosmic life, account for it because those to whom he speaks represent the possibility, at any rate, of a complete range of possible experience and realization and gnosis.

The self, whatever. The jnani for instance, talks about self,realization in terms of the exclusion of the light and the life principles and the mind and the body principles, the exclusion of the world in all forms, and so forth. And I have consistently in the various talks I ‘given given in the ashram, insisted on the inclusive point of view that the realization that is understanding is not a matter of cutting away or excluding the world, nor is that realization coincident with an apparent separation from the world, even the form of some sort of super inwardness, samadhi or asceticism or whatever else. In other words the process of understanding including the forms of gnosis that may arise within it is not coincident, is not to be equated with any of the exclusive methods of the various traditions.

On the other hand, I talked about that perfect understanding itself by virtue of knowing all of these things in truth, dissolving them, not be excluding the world but by knowing the world, it is undone without a single gesture being made to step away from the world or throw the world away or any phenomena high or low. Radical Understanding involves dissolution of all that appears, all principles, all gnosis, all experience, all manifestation, all worlds. But this statement is itself a paradox. It is there as a kind of indication, that perfect intuition, that perfect knowledge which is not really an appropriate word is utterly beyond, prior to manifestation, knowledge, grasping experience. It has nothing whatever to do with any of that sort of thing.

It is a paradox. And so descriptions of that kind are meant to indicate the paradoxical nature of it and a lot of what the guru does, apparently as teacher, is an attempt to confuse or paradox you beyond any interest in the teaching, any interest in anything else, experiences or whatever so that you will become available in that raw form to the guru siddhi. In the meantime, individuals confuse the guru-siddhi with the forms of gnosis and the forms of process and that is why the guru must teach. His function is not obvious. He is like an invisible man who cannot communicate, who is not only invisible but who has no sensory way to communicate himself to you. There’s no way of knowing he’s there. There’s no way of knowing that the guru function is present. Just because its present in the form of some human being doesn’t mean that its knowable. It is announced. It is pointed to. It is served in the forms of the teaching.